With the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics Summer Games just beyond the horizon, Rio de Janeiro has announced that it will bolster its emergency response operations by building a single, unified center.
The Brazilian city has tapped IBM for the job, which is the company's first public sector deal in the country in more than a decade. Cisco, Cyrela, Facilities, Malwee, Oi and Samsung are also on board.
The contract involves the creation of a public information management center in Cidade Nova that will consolidate information from multiple municipal government departments and agencies with the hope of improving response times to emergencies.
The concept is to unify the data from multiple systems and crunch it for real-time visualization, monitoring and analysis of city activities. The system was originally designed to forecast flash floods and related emergencies such as landslides, but with major global events around the corner, Rio officials want to apply it to events, sporting matches and traffic patterns, too.
IBM has rolled out similar systems in New York and Gauteng in South Africa, but the Rio project will take it one step further as a full end-to-end crisis management system: prediction, mitigation, immediate response and feedback from that response for future incidents.
It's yet another public platform play: integrate IT data and act on it.
Here's a video on the project: